The Master’s University and Seminary are on academic probation.

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Jay's picture

I saw a claim on Twitter a while ago from a young woman claiming that she had been assaulted while a student at TMC, and I had heard other rumblings about some of this. The fact that the accrediting agency has stepped in now to investigate it is a very ominous sign no matter how you slice it.

I hope that TMC/TMS will deal with all of these matters quickly and transparently so that they can put this behind them. 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Assuming these are genuine documents (how would we know? It's Twitter!), I wish them well in doing some administrative tuning. It doesn't look particularly ominous to me. They will have two years to decide wether they want to comply with the standards of the accrediting organization or not and implement. It should not be a given that if an accrediting agency says you are failing to dot your i's like this and cross your t's like that, you are in some way failing as an institution and should fix things. The institution should decide if the requirements are in line with how they want to do things, and if not, then decide whether the accreditation has sufficient value to give up the institution's preferred practices in order to make them happy. (In the current milieu, it probably is!) 

I can't think of any reason to believe in the inherent infallibility of accrediting agencies.

(Apparently, even the agencies don't believe in their infallibility, since there is an appeal process... 21 days to formally contest the decision: https://www.wscuc.org/resources/handbook-accreditation-2013/part-iv-comm...)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

That helps. I'm deeply skeptical of crowd-sourced information.

The Santa Clara Signal article is worth a read as well. The univ. has apparently already decided to comply.

https://signalscv.com/2018/08/masters-university-on-probation/

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Jim's picture

Accreditation cuts both ways:

  • It's a great PR benefit to an educational institution conveying we are analogous to ISO 9001
    • To the student who is about to or has invested thousands of hours and thousands of dollars
    • To the prospective employer ... that degree means something!
  • But the  educational institution submits to an outside entity

It's a good thing!

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

The college president role is not always an administrative one. But it may be one of the requirements of the accreditors that it is an administrative role...   So maybe the current "president" role should become "chancellor" or something and then make the presidency purely administrative. In any case, the accreditors seem to be very particular about how things are structured, so the school will have rearrange all the furniture, so to speak.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Jim's picture

The problem of boards:

  • If a board is a bunch of "yes men" and  sycophants: They stroke and enable the CEO but really provide no critical voice. Having been a pastor .... I wanted all my deacons to be "yes men". Thankfully for my sake and my churches, God never gave me "yes men"!
  • If the board is composed of all destructive critics, the CEO will be undermined and the organization torn apart
Jay's picture

Assuming these are genuine documents (how would we know? It's Twitter!), I wish them well in doing some administrative tuning. It doesn't look particularly ominous to me.

Just to clarify things some, I made my initial remark after reading the accreditation letter, not because of the allegations on Twitter. 

I also just want to mention that it was ultimately the failure of the Board to protect NIU many years ago.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jim's picture

SBTS rejecting NIU gift concluding there was no business model to make it work

http://news.sbts.edu/2015/04/22/southern-seminary-trustees-elect-new-fac...

http://news.sbts.edu/2015/04/24/statement-by-r-albert-mohler-jr-on-north...

Quote from 2nd link:

 it became apparent that no financial model we could establish for a Northland campus of Boyce College could sustain the academic program we had hoped to offer there

Jim's picture

The institution’s 2017 financial audit contains a specific finding on appearance of conflicts of interest with the President’s son-in-law supervising a contract from which he benefits, as well as institutional aid that exceeds typical aid awards being awarded to friends and relatives

^^^^ from the findings:

Nepotism / Cronyism undermines any organization!

Jim's picture

Conclusion from a John MacArthur fan:

  • The report (read it linked above) is damning
  • The situation there is scandalous

At 79 ... time for MacArthur to resign from TMU board!

--------

I reached out to contacts at TMU for a statement (1 via FB / three by Twitter). Responses = ZERO!

https://twitter.com/jrpeet/status/1030896199107260416

https://twitter.com/jrpeet/status/1030893861667856385

https://twitter.com/jrpeet/status/1030882897790750720

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

There's a lot of drama at this point, but I recommend deep breaths and a maybe a stroll in the park.

All they have to do is ask the accrediting folks "What do we need to do to be compliant?" Then see how of that seems doable; whatever isn't, you come up with an alternative that might suffice and go back with "We're not sure we can do C, but we can do A and B and how about if instead of C we do X?"     ... and eventually you work it out, and the work continues.

Keep in mind that the accred. agency usually wants institutions to succeed as much as anyone else does; it's in their interest to see a successful fix implemented.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

Don't think that being given two years to fix it, and 21 days to respond, indicates that the violations are minor.  Rather, the period of time to fix things simply reflects the magnitude of what's been found--that TMU is failing some very significant tests of institutional control, and that's reflected as well in how the school is dealing with cases of alleged sexual assault, promotions, and the like.  In terms of ISO, this isn't just mishandling defective material, but rather goes right up to management and executive staff putting a defective program in place.  The top of the institutional quality system is rotted.

Again, what's why they've got two years to fix it.  They're going to need to rewrite a lot of important documents, do a lot of retraining, and put a lot of safeguards in place to prevent it from happening again.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

I reached out to contacts at TMU for a statement (1 via FB / three by Twitter). Responses = ZERO!

https://twitter.com/jrpeet/status/1030896199107260416
https://twitter.com/jrpeet/status/1030893861667856385
https://twitter.com/jrpeet/status/1030882897790750720

I would imagine there will be some kind of official announcement / press release this week.  Maybe not tomorrow, but I would imagine they will say something by Friday at the latest. 

Edit - there is a link to Clery Act information at the bottom of the TMU webpage.  So apparently someone there knows something about the Act.  There's also a link to Title IX information as well, which was not called out in the report.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Bert Perry's picture

...is probably a good thing here.  They've announced their intentions to comply with the report, which makes sense, because things like "hire made without job description" are pretty easy to figure out.  So what they're most likely doing here is telling everybody "we are going to communicate through one person regarding this, and all the rest of us are going to be very busy complying with this audit."

If they hadn't announced intentions to comply, it would be different, but in this case, it most likely means they are starting to get their act together.  Very serious issues, but with the hiring of someone who is a veteran at accreditation, they are going to be able to see the mistakes they made and fix them.  (pray that they do that, of course)

One other thing; the question of whether this audit means that Macarthur ought to resign is open for me.  A quick "we are going to fix this" suggests maybe not.  The thing that dictates a 79 year old retiring, or at least making room for a new guy, is simple biology--he's more likely than ever not to be there tomorrow.  Gotta plan for succession!

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

WallyMorris's picture

Is this just about academics and "structure" or does the accrediting agency have other reasons that relate more to the current sexual culture? Don't assume that accrediting personnel are unbiased and objective.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

TylerR's picture

Editor

Agreed. I doubt TMU will lose its accreditation and I suspect this kerfluffle will disappear in short order. No doubt, some Baptist fundamentalists from the "JMac doesn't believe in the blood!" camp are gloating and praying for TMU's demise. I don't think it'll happen. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

Bert Perry's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Is this just about academics and "structure" or does the accrediting agency have other reasons that relate more to the current sexual culture? Don't assume that accrediting personnel are unbiased and objective.

Wally, just read the documents Jim shared.  It's partially about the sexual culture, but only inasmuch it relates to laws like the VAWA and Title IX.  Both laws have been on the books for decades.

More importantly, what the report found was that they don't appear to have the structures in place to prevent nepotism and conflict of interest--so the documents that need to be fixed first are the first level governing documents.  Then all the secondary and tertiary documents need to be fixed.  So it's a whole range of behaviors on the part of TMC that indicate that at least a quorum of insiders didn't really expect the auditor to take a good, hard look.

One thing that is very interesting to me is that the report summary mentions VAWA, but not Title IX, but a lot of people have been complaining that a clearly Title IX investigation was flubbed by TMC.   This means two things, one good and one bad.  The good thing is that since Title IX is not mentioned, that means the auditor was being truly impartial and wasn't just being spoon-fed problem cases by an insider.  They usually do things randomly unless the setting calls for a bigger investigation. The bad thing is that it is likely the auditor found another significant case.

Further regarding the notion of impartiality, most of these things are not terribly hard to prove.  You have the son-in-law on staff, which is dangerous, and his position never had a job description or job search done.  Either that's true or false, but bias does not come into the equation.

Never mind something very important; if you or your organization are ever being investigated or audited, the quickest way to make it a "full body cavity exam" is to insinuate that the investigator or auditor is biased.  Word to the wise--our organizations are necessarily (and beneficially I believe) moving to a world where a lot more audits are done.  If the auditors are biased, evidence will show that soon enough--no sense in picking a fight with the guys who have the power to shut you down!

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jay's picture

Bert,

The assault coverup at TMU/TMS clearly falls under Title IX regulations. I originally thought Title IX was from the 90’s, but it is dated 1972, IIRC. I have edited this post to reflect that.

I know the assault allegation has been confirmed by another woman who was also a student at the time. Apparently the victim sought counseling from her  at the time and then disappeared from campus about two weeks after the assault.  The confirming woman’s conscience has bothered her about it ever since, and that is why she stepped forward to corroborate the story.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Mark_Smith's picture

So another of a long line of assaults where the victim never went to the police, and may or may not have told the campus authorities. For the record, did the student even tell TMC at the time?

Look, if you are assaulted, you MUST go to the police. I know people consider that as a burden, but really the police are the only ones who can do anything about it afterward.

Bert Perry's picture

Mark, the victim did go to the police, and TMC's response indicates TMC also looked at the police report.  

http://www.marcipreheim.com/2017/09/18/do-you-see-me/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2017/09/25/janes-story-leaders-f...

https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2017/09/22/janes-account-of-rape-resp...

And even if she had not, Title IX and VAWA are expressly designed to compel various entities to lend assistance when an accuser is not ready to go to the police.  So you're wrong here on two counts.

Actually, make it a third.  As I noted above, Mark, this isn't just about a single Title IX allegation, but rather about a string of incidents discovered by the auditor, many of which having fairly "open and shut" evidence far easier to analyze than conflicting testimony over sexual assault.  It's about a university-wide pattern of not playing by the rules, one which TMC largely conceded by deciding to comply with the report.  

This is a big deal, brothers.  We do our "tribe" no favors by acting as if it these audit reports are not deadly serious.  I would hope, and I do pray, that we could at the very least withhold judgment until we look seriously at the evidence, and that we could at the very least refrain from impugning the motives of complainants and the impartiality of the auditors.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

I am addressing a larger issue. If you have been assaulted, the institution that prosecutes and investigates is the police and the DA. Schools can provide mental counseling, but you can't get justice from a school, unless you mean the Obama DOE guidelines to punish the accused without due process by kicking them out of school and not allowing them to ever get DOE money. Yes, that happened. In the end, the police should be engaged if a person claims to have been assaulted.

I know NOTHING about this particular case nor was I trying to claim I did. The previous post suggested she had not gone to the police or the school... but later complained. 

Mark_Smith's picture

The stories in the links are horrible. If true, the college needs to be shut down unless it totally changes its operation. A school changing all grades from As to Fs... (Seriously... and she accepted that without a lawsuit?) Forcing the victim to meet the abuser in a counseling office AFTER she reported it to the police. This is so bad I wonder if there is some inflation of the truth. I cannot believe someone operated a college this way in 2006, IN CALIFORNIA, and thinks they are going to get away with it. For that reason, I would like some more substantiation. 

But IF TRUE, the people involved at the Master's College are depraved, flat out.

This story as told be her is so bad, I would think that the response from the accrediting agency would be stronger. 

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